Emergency personnel respond after a reported gas leak early Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 in Lawrence, Mass. About 100 people have been evacuated from their homes and two schools have been closed in response to a natural gas leak in the Massachusetts city affected a year ago by a series of gas explosions and fires. Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said the leak in a high-pressure line was discovered around 3:15 a.m. Friday and that the volume of gas released was in the "explosive range." No explosions or fires have been reported. (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via AP)

Most residents back home after gas leak forces evacuations

September 27, 2019 - 4:23 pm

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say the majority of residents in a Massachusetts city affected by gas explosions and fires last year are back home after evacuating because of a natural gas leak.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera said Friday that electricity and gas are gradually being restored.

The leak was discovered around 3:15 a.m. Friday. About 150 homes were evacuated as a precaution.

Gov. Charlie Baker says state officials are still investigating but are confident that the leak is isolated and that there's no immediate public safety risk.

Mark Kempic is president of Columbia Gas. He says the leaky line was among miles of new pipelines the company has installed across the region to replace old cast iron pipes.

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